More than any other iteration of the Impreza, I think the bugeye has gotten better with age. When it was first released, many people were put off by the car’s unique looks. I’ve come across a number of sources claiming the car was never a popular looker with the Japanese audience. It gained fast fame in the United States for being the first turbo model of the Impreza on our shores. I’ve heard all kinds of characterizations about the appearance, even critics going so far as to compare it with the Dodge Neon. It’s only now, nearly 10 years later that people are beginning to appreciate the car’s looks and it has certainly matured with time. Now a bugeye in good condition can be a very sought-after car. I think from a tuning perspective, the car was always brushed aside for the lack of good aero options. It does indeed come from an era where spocom and HIN ruled the industry. I guess you could say it’s the most “ricer” of the Impreza family. On the contrary, there are quite a few great aero looks for the car. One of which is the holy grail of front bumpers for the GDA, produced by JUN Auto.
While most GDA owners (myself included) tend to settle for run-of-the-mill front lips produced by Prodrive and STi, some have invested the patience and money into owning one of JUN’s very rare front bumpers. While it’s still “available” today, each bumper is made to order and production can involve wait times of up to a year. It takes a special kind of enthusiast to go to the trouble of owning a JUN bumper.
It’s a beautiful piece of engineering. It enhances the looks of the car by adding some substance to the front end. I’ve always felt the OEM bumper for the GDA was a bit finicky. It looks good in some cases, but it was always lacking. The massive air ducts on the front and sides of the JUN bumper allude to the racing pedigree of the design. It was originally produced for JUN’s famed Super Lemon WRX, one of the fastest Subarus (even today) to lap Tsukuba Circuit. While the track version of the GDA included an additional front splitter and canards, the shop’s street version is essentially the same one used on the Super Lemon.
It’s always been a dream of mine to run a JUN bumper on my own car and try to recreate the same front splitter and canard setup seen on the Super Lemon above. The additional aero pieces were never sold by JUN, but recreating theme isn’t out of the realm of possibility. This bumper represents everything that is great about all cars. Each and every car has some sort of highly sought-after part that only a few owners can claim ownership of. With the Evo, it seems to be a genuine Ralliart front lip and for the bugeye Impreza, it’s the JUN front bumper.